MLB’s biggest surprise this year has to be the impressive record of the Baltimore Orioles. In today’s Phillies Betting Preview, we break down the rubber match between the 54-47 Phillies and the 62-39 Orioles, in sole possession of first place in the AL-East and the second-best record in baseball. The first pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. in this pivotal inter-league series.
Orioles (-110) vs. Phillies (-120) O/U 9.0
These two teams have split the first two games of the series, with Baltimore taking Monday’s contest 3-2 and Philadelphia winning yesterday 4-3. That loss lowered the O’s away record to 32-19. Part of the reason the Orioles are so surprising this season is their 17-13 SU record on the road as underdogs. This also includes a recent 7-3 SU as road dogs. As the season goes on, these profitable situations will likely decrease dramatically as people finally start to realize that Baltimore is no longer a “Pretender” but really a legitimate “Contender”.
Orioles Pitching and Batting
Baltimore trots out RHP Kyle Bradish (6-5 3.05) this evening to win the proverbial “rubber match” this evening. While his win-loss record hasn’t been great over the last seven games (4-3), this hasn’t been any fault of Bradish, as his ERA is 1.62 over 44.1 innings pitched. Those seven starts were against the Rays (twice), Yankees, Marlins, Blue Jays, Twins, and Mariners and none of them saw Bradish give up more than two runs.
The O’s bats have about average so far for the season, hitting as a team at .250 (league average is .248), have hit 119 home runs (league average is 120), and have struck out 874 times (league average is 874). They are 8th in the league with 4.89 runs per game, slightly above the league average of 4.59.
Since the All-Star break, however, they have struggled in their 12 games, hitting at a .226 clip (23rd out of 30), a .687 OPS, and 12 home runs (22nd in the MLB). Their bullpen during this stretch has been solid, 12th in the league with a 3.83 ERA, 14th in WHIP at 1.32, and an impressive 5th place in xFIPat 3.73. The O/U in these 12 games has been split down the middle, going 6-6, although the under has cashed in the last three games.
Phillies Pitching and Batting
The Phils turn to LHP Ranger Suárez (2-5 4.07) to try and win this critical series. After the month of June that saw Suárez pitch as the Phillies’ most-effective starter, he’s had a rough July, going 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA, 5.74 FIP, and an incredibly unlucky .362 BABIP. He surrendered four homers in 22 innings pitched. His WHIP has been a disappointing 1.86 in this stretch.
Since the All-Star break, Philadelphia’s anemic, hitting .232 as a team average, 51 runs (17th in the MLB), an OPS of .637 (23rd in the MLB), and an isolated power of .135, which places them in 26th position in the majors. In these 12 games, they’ve been shut out twice and only scored more than four runs just four times. Those kinds of numbers are not conducive to long-term winning when your pitching is giving up 4.33 runs per game
The Phillies bullpen since the break has been moderately reliable, posting a 4.14 ERA. They have faced 163 total batters, opposing hitters have a .230 batting average, hit five home runs, and struck out only 28 times but walked an alarming 21. Their WHIP of 1.43 is the 10th-worst in baseball. They have managed to relatively timely outs, as they have stranded 75% of the runners that have reached. Unfortunately for Phillies fans, it could get worse, as their xFIP is 5.60
The Phillies continue to be one of the most disappointing teams in baseball. After finishing June with the 3rd-best record in the Majors (Atlanta unfortunately was a scorching 21-4), they are struggling along with an 11-9 mark. The O’s, meanwhile, sport the 2nd-best July record at 14-7 (Boston is first at 13-5). Philadelphia’s Suárez has been atrocious at home, with an 0-2 record and 5.64 ERA. These lines confuse me, as the Orioles have the 2nd-best record in baseball, against a pitcher who has gotten shelled at home. Don’t overthink this too much. Take the better team who is currently playing better. Take Baltimore on the money line.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Baltimore Orioles
Up 2.5 units (+$250)